Behind the Scenes: Making Massive Star Wars Helmets

Art & Sculpture Craft & Design
Behind the Scenes: Making Massive Star Wars Helmets
screenshot of the event page
Screenshot of the event page

If you happen to be in Madrid between now and the opening of Star Wars in December, you may want to plan a little time to travel around and geek out at the massive helmet sculptures scattered around the city. The project, titled Face the Force, placed eight iconic Star Wars helms at various locations.

Here is the description of the event (with help from Google translate):

Arriving in Madrid, FACE THE FORCE is a unique exhibition in the world: eight giant replicas of the most recognizable helmets from the Star Wars saga. The helmets, each three meters high, will be located in some of the most emblematic places of the capitol. Until November 30th, guests visiting Madrid will enjoy this unique sample of Star Wars in the street, in the year of the return of the Saga. The exhibition will feature eight replicas of different helmets throughout the city. Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Plaza de Colon, Puerta de Alcalá, Fuencarral, Spain Square, outside the Reina Sofia Museum, and Madrid Matadero River are the scenes that will host these unique pieces for a month and will make Madrid a city ​​from another galaxy. The helmets are made of polyethylene, and on each specimen the molds are coated with high strength fiberglass and polyester resin, polished smooth to finish, and painted in their original colors.

These are massive helmets, dwarfing onlookers as they gawk and snap pictures. The details are fantastic and just looking at these gets me excited for the movie to come out.

The helmets have just been put in place and this quick video tour shows off the results.

If you are anything like me, you instantly start wondering about how these were made. Well, this behind the scenes clip gives us a pretty good feel for the construction process.

It looks like a digital file is sculpted using a fairly large multi axis mill cutting into foam blocks. The mill can’t be that large, because each helmet is constructed of multiple blocks pieced together. Once the pieces are fitted together, a team goes through and smooths out the surface and fills in any cracks. After that, a few coats of sealant and paint give the final texture.

These look splendid and I wouldn’t mind having these when they’re done. Think they’ll give them to me?

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I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. You can find me on twitter at @calebkraft

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